field research center - VwaZa marsh wildlife Reserve

Vwaza Marsh Wildife Reserve (VMWR), proclaimed a Wildlife Reserve in 1977, is a national game reserve located in the Northern District of Malawi. It covers an area of 1,000km2, varyng in altitude between from 1000 to 1660m and is home to the widest variety of large mammals in Malawi and a fascinating range of lowland bird species. It is a low-lying plains area, its water source being the Nyika plateau which lies to the north and east. The western half of the reserve comprises plateau Miombo (Brachystegia) woodland, clay soils dominated by Mopane (Colophosphermum mopane) woodland and wetland marshes, while the eastern half of the reserve contains Miombo and broad-leaved Combretum woodlands in the foothills of the Nyika plateau.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The reserve is home to several herds of elephant totalling about 150 individuals. Other plains animals such as kudu, impala and warthog are also to be found along with pods of hippopotamus in Lake Kazuni. Buffalo are seen occasionally with lion infrequent visitors. Listed as an "Important Bird Area" with 326 species recorded, the marsh is the most northerly limit of Swainson’s Francolin Francolinus swainsonii. Birds of conservation concern include the rare White-winged Starling Neocichia gutturalis which occurs only in this locality.

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